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UX Design for B2B: Businesslike Strategies and Tips.

User experience design for business is getting more and more expressions today. A great diversity of companies make an important decision to come into play and fight for online presence. Various services are now available and executed online. In these conditions, designers working on the projects in this perspective, have to keep in mind the variety of business relations to offer the solutions corresponding the specific client’s goals. Continuing the theme of creating web and mobile products, today we suggest discussing the issues of design for the sphere of B2B services.

 

What is B2B?

 

B2B is the term used in business, marketing and economy to mark the relations of the sides in the business process like «business-to-business». B2B means that one company provides products or services aimed at the other companies’ business activities. The target audience of the offer is not individual customers but businesses. The nature of relations has a direct impact on business process, strategy, promotion and therefore any design stages involved in this scope. Not going far, if we are talking about outsourced design and development services, they are a direct example of B2B.

 

To get this example deeper, let’s imagine the company which sells physical goods to end consumers, let’s say, casual clothes. They need a website which will provide quite broad functionality for a big amount of users. The stakeholders monitor the market for web services and find out that hiring an outsource company for design and development is cheaper and more convenient for them than creating an in-company department for this purpose. This is the start of B2B relations as a digital agency provides their services for another business — a clothes shop — so that it could start e-commerce activity.

 

People involved in the design process for products and services have to consider the types of relations chosen for the particular project. Actually, the type of business scheme initially defines the target audience and nature of interactions which are key factors for efficient and user-friendly design solutions. Designing for business should supposedly involve methods of visual and content presentation which are different from the one presented directly to end users. It’s easy to see by examples of numerous landing pages: the ones aimed at companies use content, language, visual and graphic elements, placement of data blocks different from those which are targeted at individual buyers or users.

 

Neglecting the aspect of business relations increases the risk of creating the design which will not provide high conversion rate even being sophisticated, stylish and attractive visually. The psychological background behind design solutions has to support a particular business schemes or strategy. Here in Tubik, we have had broad experience of design for all the mentioned schemes so below you will find some ideas we would like to share on the basis of that practice.

 

design for business

 

Aspects to consider in design for B2B

 

Designing for B2B, it’s important to remember that:

— design solutions should consistently strengthen branding and company policy. The quality of design says much to the potential clients which the interface has to attract. A good dress is a card of invitation, a good mind is a letter of recommendation — it worked years ago and it still works now. Quality of design created for a website of B2B service is actually an integral part of their image and therefore profits. Remember, that B2B differs from B2C: the stakes, as well as the expenses, are higher, the number of leads can be limited with the specific nature of services, the decisions about the deal may take weeks and even month before they are agreed upon. The website or app design must present the company or service as highly-professional from the first seconds of the interaction and visual perception.  It should build a reliable bridge between the sides looking for collaboration. That’s why businessmen in this sphere are recommended to involve professional designers into the process while designers have to do their best to understand the business goals and research target audience.

 

— people become more and more open and sociable, not only in personal but also in professional aspects, and social networks present the great ground for that aim. Implementation of design elements in social network marketing of B2B company, using the same style, voice, corporate colors and graphics, specially designed branded items and the like is one more way to strengthen brand awareness by means of design. Design has to be consistent whenever the B2B company is presented: headers and banners, logos, style of photos in social network account and on the website need to feature the same stylistic approach. In this way, design makes branding more recognizable, comprehensive and solid.

 

— consistent and a thought-out content strategy combining visual and textual material with the careful selection of visuals and copy is able to fulfill all the stages of sales funnel and bring better conversion of the website, landing page or application of B2B company;

 

— concise and minimalistic solutions in design and copywriting work efficiently in most cases because they save time and effort of busy stakeholders and entrepreneurs. The effective variant of scenario can take place when they are given concise core information at the first stage of interaction but always have the chance to read more if they are interested (as well as avoid reading huge copy blocks if they don’t want). Certainly, this solution should be based on thorough user research, but it has a high potential to make user experience positive;

 

— business is done differently in different countries. It should be always considered together with the nature of business relations as the factor making a considerable impact on the level of trust and wish to collaborate. Selection of graphic content and layout of the elements on the screen or page should go under analysis in this perspective as some graphic elements, photos, gestures, word combinations, color choices which are efficient and clear for one region or culture can be totally unacceptable or even offensive for the others. Creation of several landing pages targeted locally can be an effective solution;

 

— the aim of a website or other piece of design presenting B2B company is not to grow a huge flow of traffic but to engage and direct leads which belong to the target audience and are potentially open to take part in business collaboration or partnership good for both sides. It’s important to keep in mind that retaining customers, in this case, plays not less role than involving them in the game.

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Design strategies for B2B

 

The strategies mentioned below may work not only for B2B but for any kind of interfaces aimed at business. Still, in B2B their role in getting profit may be more significant.

 

Get CTA elements seen instantly. Call-to-action buttons should be perfectly visible. Doesn’t it work that way for any kind of website, not only B2B? Yes, you are right. But in B2B the price of a click is much higher while visitors are often horribly busy and don’t tend to spend much time looking for a button on the page. Apply color, shape or orientation contrast, test the most effective placement and think over the copy on it — all that stuff may have a crucial effect on conversion rates.

 

Make value proposition noticeable. Getting to the website, the visitors should immediately understand why it is beneficial to them. Don’t make them search for the reason to cooperate with this B2B service — they won’t do it. Use the catchy slogan or tagline which will express the value proposition briefly and clearly, and take care of its visual performance. Typographic hierarchy will help user’s eye to catch it first, appropriate fonts will add the mood and style to the message.

 

Don’t overwhelm users with information: prioritize content. There is a big temptation for a business to show all its strong sides at maximum. However, it may lead to the website with a huge amount of data which might get the visitor confused, annoyed or frightened. It is especially hard in the cases when visual hierarchy isn’t thought-out and tested properly: the pages risk transforming into a mess which cannot be scanned quickly. So, prioritization is both designer’s and user’s friend here: apply design techniques and layout which will strengthen the visual performance of the core information.

 

Make copy blocks digestible. The debates around the theme of copy blocks are still hot and actual: which copy is better, long or short? Actually, both may be effective. As we mentioned in the article devoted to landing pages, a decision on the amount of copy has to be based on thorough research and testing as it directly and highly influences conversions.  For example, if it presents a famous company product or service or informs about special offers, sometimes short and concise copy is enough to encourage users to buy or know more. However, if a new unknown product or service is presented, it may be important to provide users with more information persuading them to follow the call to action. Whatever is the decision, the copy content should be given in scannable blocks which aren’t too big so that the user didn’t think reading will take too much time. Scanning the blocks allows for faster understanding if the copy brings useful information.

 

Keep core data available from the pre-scroll area. Users usually decide on staying on the website or leaving it very quickly. It is really a matter of minutes or even seconds. That is why all the key information would better be seen in the pre-scroll area, including the value proposition and ability to contact the duty holders. 

 

Activate the power of color psychology. Colors present the great support in sending the right message. Being attentive to target audience’s preferences, designers can select the colors not only on the basis of their nice looks but also color psychology which explains associations people have with colors.

 

Apply catchy visuals sending a message. A picture is worth a thousand words — and that’s not just because it’s more appealing or beautiful but also because in the vast majority of cases, it is perceived faster than words. Moreover, the attractive visual content, be it a photo, illustration or poster may become another source of informing the user about the value proposition provided by the company.

 

Consider promo video content. Promo videos present the popular trend in business schemes now as they enable to inform users about the value propositions and benefits in the fast and original way. However, it may influence the loading speed of the page so this decision needs to be well-weighed.

 

Apply landing pages for special offers. Landing pages allow for focusing user’s attention on the specific information instead of making them search for it around the website. It is especially important is the sales funnel starts out of the website.

 

Don’t forget about the testimonials and signs of trust. Word-of-mouth is the best advertising, especially in the B2B sphere. Making a decision on collaboration, people tend to consider references, testimonials and other signs of trust from the previous clients as positive factors. So, make sure they are available and easily found.

 

Let users contact duty holders from any point of their journey. Contacts can be presented in various formats. They can reveal the data such as phone number and location, emails, links to messengers, contact forms and instant chat window. Making the phone numbers clickable is supportive as many users now browse from their smartphones and may want to call right from there. The address can be also clickable opening the screenshot or map showing how to find the location. The solutions have to be based on thoughtful user research setting target audience’s expectations, level of tech literacy and the most convenient ways of contact for them. 

 

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Hopefully, the mentioned strategies will help not only designers but also entrepreneurs who want to know more about design issues influencing profitability. Soon, we will share more posts devoted to other numerous aspects of design for business.

 

Recommended reading

 

UX Design for E-Commerce: Principles and Strategies.

The Role of Branding in UI Design

Business-Oriented Design. Know Your Target.

Short but Vital. Key Abbreviations in Design for Business.

Business Terms in Design for E-Commerce. Sales Basics.

Two Types of User Motivation: Design to Satisfy.

Sell Like Hotcakes: UI Designs for E-Commerce.

Feel Homey. Handy Tips for Home Page Design.

Landing Page. Direct Flight to High Conversion.

11 Profitable Strategies for E-commerce UI Design


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Tubik Podcast #5. Design for Business: Know Your Target.

Having set the potential users of the website or app and researching this group of users, designers are able to create the solutions which will get close to the users and will be more precise in solving their problems. Today we have prepared a new episode for the listeners of Tubik Podcast, the series of free audio talks devoted to various aspects of design. In this episode, we’ll consider the phenomenon of the target audience and diverse types of targeting in the design perspective. Welcome to listen and follow the updates!

 

If you want to get the set of episodes devoted to the theme of business terms and processes in design aspect, subscribe here and get them right into your inbox.

 

 

You can check more details in the article devoted to targeting applied in design projects. Also, to learn more and see practical case studies, welcome to read or download our free ebooks. Stay tuned!

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6 Big Reasons to Start a Website

For centuries, people have found hundreds of ways to communicate and collaborate for both professional and personal aims. Still, since the time when the Internet came into play, these directions of human activity have witnessed really prominent progress. It got especially significant and impressive for the last decade, with broader availability of the Internet and development of new technology. Decent ten or twenty years ago having a website was seen a sort of luxury while today it is often a widely-used and important factor of personal, professional and business growth.

 

There is a great number of big and small goals standing behind the incredible variety of websites whose number seems to grow every single minute. According to Internet Live Stats, there are over 1 billion websites in the World Wide Web today. This milestone was first reached in September of 2014, as confirmed by NetCraft in its October 2014 Web Server Survey, and first estimated and announced by Internet Live Stats. The number had subsequently declined, reverting back to a level below 1 billion due to the monthly fluctuations in the count of inactive websites before reaching again and stabilizing above the 1 billion mark starting in March of 2016. In general, this is the sort story of the amazing path from 1 website in 1991 to 1 billion websites in 2014. 

 

No wonder, more and more people are thinking over the idea of setting their websites and they come to this decision along the different ways reaching various life destinations. Let’s review the most popular reasons that make people work over their websites either by themselves or hiring professionals for that job, and in some cases applying both of the mentioned options. The ideas will be supported with web design concepts accomplished by Tubik designers and corresponding to particular objectives.

 

E-commerce

 

Nowadays this reason would definitely take its place in the top. With better technical abilities of presenting goods and services as well as fast and secure payments enabled via the Internet, more and more people take opportunities of buying and selling online, right from their desktop. It can deal even with the case of personal websites, if people both communicate and sell the goods or services they produce via this website. So, getting real financial profit can be named among the prominent reasons of creating a website. Moreover, modern content-management systems support this aim with tools and features strengthening the website rates in search browsers. 

 

tubikstudio ui webdesign

Design concept of online comic bookshop

 

tubik studio UI design

Design concept of online auction

 

tubik studio design UI

Design concept of the randomizer for e-commerce platform

 

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Design concept of the bakery enabling online orders

 

Business presentation

 

Another reason connected with professional activity and encouraging more and more people to start their websites is presentation of their business, whatever is its nature and volume. It can be anything, from simple one-page website giving basic description of the professional and contact data to complex web platforms providing the variety of business directions or extensive portfolio. The core distinguishing feature comparing to the previous position is that this website doesn’t provide full cycle of direct sales from order to payment and delivery, its aim is to present the services or goods as well as the ways of getting them. This can be the reason for not only fully packed websites of broad functionality but also landing pages fulfilling the same need.

 

tubikstudio homepage design

Web design concept for a company organizing open air events

 

website design tubik studio

Web design concept for a company organizing hot-air-balloon rides

 

website design UI

Web design concept for an architectural bureau 

 

tubikstudio ui animation website design

Design concept for the interior design studio

 

Sharing information

 

This is the reason why people set up diverse blogs and websites aimed at sharing information: these can be online magazines and newspapers, thematic collections and bloggers’ reviews etc. It is usually not aimed at direct communication, only providing users with fresh and actual information.

 

online magazine design tubik studio

Design concept of online newspaper

 

web design UI concept tubik studio

Design concept of the online magazine devoted to travelling

 

tubik web design

Web design for the blog devoted to design news and trends

 

Education

 

One more reason to start the website is the ability and wish to provide some materials and/or communication with educative objectives. These can be different stuff, from personal teacher’s blogs to interactive encyclopedias or platforms for online courses.

 

tubik studio web ui design

Web design for online encyclopedia

 

Communication

 

The Internet presents great and easily available opportunities for communications, so communication can be one more good reason for creating a website, like blogs with direct discussions, forums, social networks for general or special themes etc.

 

sport social network design tubik

Design concept of a social network for sport fans

 

Self-expression and practice

 

Sometimes, people create the website with the aim of getting a platform for expressing their creativity and trying particular skills, like, for example, creative writing. Again, complexity and quality of these websites can be very different, still the basic reason behind them is self-expression and growth.

 

tubik studio design

Design concept of a personal blog devoted to architecture

 

Surely, this list is not totally full, it mentions only some of the globally popular reasons for creating websites. Stay tuned and don’t miss the new articles analyzing all the mentioned directions in closer detail.


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