UX is King in the Heights. Learn Why

Mcmillin24, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

The Heights: Different Place Same Story - Gentrification

The Heights were synonymous with crime in the 1990s, as the capital of the crack epidemic. But, as crime decreased, the Heights underwent a significant gentrification starting in the 2000s and continuing through the 2010s. 

This has had an indelible mark on the make-up of the neighborhood. The white population increased while communities of color decreased. Rent crept higher as well by around 40% from 2000-2020. While this isn’t nearly as significant as other gentrifying neighborhoods in Manhattan, it is part of a trend across the city.

Like with all gentrifying neighborhoods, businesses in the Heights will have to choose how they wish to respond. They will need to get more from the marketing as commercial rent prices put a squeeze on profit margins.

Why Web Design Matters in the Heights?

In a gentrifying neighborhood, the first decision you need to make is deciding on your target. There will be those unique businesses that can appeal to both new and existing residents, but that will not be the norm. Depending on your business, it may force you to choose. Once you make that choice, Your website can help you reach that target more effectively. 

  1. Web Design in the Heights is about targeting and owning a small niche. Then, expanding from it..
  2. You site can raise awareness among the newcomers or remind the locals that your business exists. 
  3. Mobile lets your customers you are nearby, open, and accessible. No one likes to travel far if they can find something closer.

User Experience (UX): User’s Value Finding Information Fast.

When you ask users what they want, they will tell you. They want information fast. They care about finding information over 7 times more than the care about appearance.

Important factors of web design

Therefore, your design elements should focus on helping the user find pages on your site versus just creating visual impact. Otherwise,  60% of users leave a site if they can’t find what they need easily.

The 1 to 3-Second Rule

If a page takes over 3 seconds to load, mobile users bounce as the Pingdom chart below suggests.

Pingdom Bounce Rate vs. Page Speed

SEMRush gauges page speed using a 1 second rule. I would argue they are closer. My personal experience suggests that the widow has continued to narrow.

Main Drag on Page Speed is Unnecessary Code

If you are not a web designer or web developer, terms like render blocking ccs or unused JavaScript, will be very foreign. Knowing the terms are not as important as understanding the cause

Google Page Insights Illustrating render blocking resources

The root cause of most speed issues is the content management system (CMS) that you choose for your website. 

Themes Will Slow You Down

If your site is built on Wordpress or Wix, you are using a theme. Every theme carries a set of instructions (CSS), which tell the browser how to render the page. Every theme has customization options, drop-down menus, animations, and such.

When a page is rendered, the browser has to sort through all this code to see what your content requires. The unused features can stop the page from rendering, creating render-blocking resources or unused CSS. 

Theme Are Easy But Come at a Cost

A theme is user friendly. They are faster to build, easier to maintain, and simpler to update. You do not need to understand coding or even basic HTML or CSS commands to get great looking results. However, there is a big trade-off, and that is page speed.

Why Local Digital Marketing Matters in the Heights?

In a gentrifying neighborhood, the first decision you need to make is deciding on your target. There will be those unique businesses that can appeal to both new and existing residents, but that will not be the norm. Depending on your business, it may force you to choose. Once you make that choice, Local digital marketing can help you reach that target more effectively. 

  1. Local digital marketing in the Heights is about targeting and owning a small niche. Then, expanding from it..
  2. t is important to raise awareness among the newcomers or remind the locals that your business exists. 
  3. Local digital marketing lets your customers you are nearby, open, and accessible. No one likes to travel far if they can find something closer.

Simple Navigation That is Clear and Easy to Follow

To have a navigation that is easy to follow requires that you understand how your user is likely to search for information. It is very important to remember that your user may search for information very differently from you, especially if you are an expert in the field and they are not.

Importance of Page Mapping

To keep the communication focused, each page should be designed to answer a given set of questions around a core theme. Since we know the core theme, we can link these pages to keywords or key phrases. 

The key reasons why it is worth the effort to map pages to key words are:

  1. Helps to minimize confusion as each page has a clear answer or a means to reach that answer quickly.
  2. Helps indicate to the user and the bot what the page is about.

This is a key step in any design and development process.  

Measure & Monitor Your User Flow

People can be difficult to predict. Even with the best planning, sometimes the flow isn’t quite right. User flow on Google Analytics can really help. You can see how users are browsing the site. 

Optimizing

If you find users are acting differently versus how you intended. It’s important to take note and make changes. Web design is never “a set it and forget it” activity. Monthly monitoring and testing are recommended. 

Mobile friendly

A high-quality user experience is important on all devices. This is just the cost of entry these days.

Most themes and common website builders are responsive, which means it adapts the code (html and ccs) to suit the device. 

There are several ways to achieve a responsive design. The main tradeoff between the options is page speed.

We recommend custom sites because they are designed as mobile first. They use only the code that you need, so they are fast. Lastly, the lost revenue from bounces and poor conversions generally more than offset the cost.

All themes will require “fixing”. Without some way to weeding out that excess code, page speed load times will likely cause you to perform poorly on mobile. 

Data show page speed is a key indicator bounce rate. If your page takes over three seconds to load, bounce rates balloon. Any bounce is a lost opportunity to influence your user.

There are plugins and other solutions. But, again, there is a trade-off between cost and performance.

Summary

Your website is the most important communication tool in digital marketing. Therefore, you want it to be its best.

Users value finding information quickly. Finding the information quickly is seven times more important than fancy features.

To help users find the information they want quickly requires a simple navigation that is clear and easy to follow. 

A high-quality user experience is important on all devices. Therefore, you want a design that can meet these demands without sacrificing quality or speed. Both affect your website metrics.

This can be challenging to attempt this on your own, and there are numerous digital marketing companies that can help.

ProStraegix is a web design agency with offices in New York City. We also provide SEO and pay per click advertising support to our clients.

See more about Small Business Marketing in the Heights. If you are more interest in the borough, you can see our Small Business Marketing in Manhattan. If you want the full city, you can see our Small Business Marketing in NYC.