Global Web Design Tips

Read these 10 Global Web Design Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Creative Staffing tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How can reviewing data help be build a global Website?

Looking At The Data

If you're trying to create a Website with global appeal, you'll want to find out what that means in terms of the particular customer base you are trying to reach. The best way to do this is by reviewing data that can tell you more about the approach you should take. If you don't have any market research, you may want to hire a freelance marketing professional or someone who can pull together some information for you to review.

If market research says that your heaviest customer base is going to be in Europe, you'll want to be sure that your measurements are listed in centimeters and meters as well as inches and feet. You'll also want to try and get an idea of how much demand there may be for your product in the global market so that you can estimate your production needs.

Are you going to use English as the language for the Website? Again, check out your markets before you commit to this. It may make sense for you to consider another language, or at the very least, give the customer options to choose from.

   
Should I be concerned about customizing my shopping experience on the Web?

The Shopping Experience

If you're looking to set up a smooth shopping experience on the Web, you'll need to consider how people like to shop for their goods. While at first this may seem easy, it is actually fairly complex. You'll want to be able to build a Website that is user-friendly in the global marketplace--especially in the areas of the world where you have the most customers.

Do you know where your primary customer base is located? What information do you have about how they like to shop on the Web? The answer to these simple questions can help you get started on the road to customization with your Web designer.

If you do some market research you may find out that you should make sure the customer has a running total as they shop--or maybe you'll want to choose a particular visual layout based on what your customer base would prefer. What you decide on will differ based on where in the world your heaviest concentration of customers is located.

Make sure you communicate that information to your designer so they can select a setup that will work best for international Web design--and for the regions of the world you would like to focus on.

   
What are some details that can make a difference when it comes to global Website design?

Global Design Details

Simple issues arise when you want to create a Website that is truly global. These things are actually so basic that if you aren't looking for them you might miss them. For example, if you are attempting to globalize your Website, you'll want to do things such as point out what country you are located in, as well as include an area code with your phone number.

Another thing to think through is live help service. If you are planning on offering it, will it be 24 hours? If not, how can you address the needs of your customers on the other side of the globe?

Issues such as these are a good reason to hire a Web designer with experience in global markets. See if any graphic design agencies in your area specialize in this type of work. If not, you might want to look at individual Web designers or freelance graphic design professionals. Ultimately it may be worth spending a few extra dollars to make sure that you don't miss any details that might cost you business.

   
Are there any global issues involved with shopping on the Web?

Shopping On The Web

Once upon a time we ordered things from catalogues or leisurely browsed through the department store to check out the sales. Although these things still exist, the on-line market has become a player in the field as well. Not only can you shop on the Web, but you can buy things from all over the world--just with the click of a mouse.

The evolution of worldwide shopping on the Web has created a new niche for Web designers as well. Shopping carts are the norm in terms of purchasing on-line goods, and their installation has become part of the portfolio of services that is often expected of Web designers.

Setting up a shopping cart nowadays means taking global Web design principles into account. Since one never knows what country the customer is coming from, there must be provisions to address their particular currency and postage needs. Smart businesses will take these factors into account and look for Web designers that are able to do this type of work.

   
Do fonts matter when it comes to global Web design?

Working With Fonts

Fonts may not seem to be much of an issue when it comes to creating an international Web design concept, but the truth is the one you select can be very important. The typeface on a Website can definitely have a major impact on its global appeal.

Some cursive fonts can be extremely difficult to read and may not work well on a Website that needs to be clear and simple. In addition, some fonts use all capital letters; which can sometimes be interpreted as rude or as improper etiquette. The shade you select for lettering may play a role as well, as colors can have a cultural meaning.

Thinking through your font selection can save you from problems down the line, so don't push this issue to the side before you do a little investigating. Browse other Websites that have global audiences and see what they are doing to see if you can get some ideas. You may be able to find some smart strategies you can use for your own work.

   
What are the potential issues with language when it comes to design?

The Issue Of Language

Graphic design agencies need to think about many things when working with clients, as do Web designers. One thing that both career fields have in common is the challenge of doing work that can be globalized, and one of the major things to consider when it comes to this is language.

Translation presents a potential problem, as some words have no exact counterpart in another language. If you need to get words or phrasing translated from one language to another, it can be quite a challenge. So can slang. Some words won't make sense to those who don't use them on a regular basis. For example, if you are from the U.S., would you know that "bangers and mash" is something you eat?

Taking language into account in terms of the global Web market is a very smart thing to do. You can save both yourself and your client from embarrassment and make sure that you are getting your message across clearly. It just takes a little time to be sure you are saying things right--and it's well worth the effort.

   
Why is understanding the global market important?

Expanding Your Horizons

If you are with a graphic design agency that works with global markets, you may want to try and expand your horizons a bit if you don't know a lot about the cultures you'll be dealing with on a regular basis. For example, if you are doing work for a company that has a strong presence in Japan, you may want to read a little about how the Japanese do business or about their culture in general.

How can this help? Take the example above. The Japanese are a very group-oriented society, and once you learn a bit about that, you can it into consideration when drafting an ad campaign or setting up a Website. This is true for many different cultures as well.

Each part of the world has a unique philosophy and viewpoint, and as the global market expands, understanding the ideas and ideals present in different areas of the world makes you more marketable as a designer. If you can show that you have a basic understanding of the global marketplace, you'll be positioned well to work in the field.

   
What should I know about working with color on the Web?

Working With Color

If you are employed at a design agency, you will eventually need to learn how to use color for different global populations. Sometimes you may be limited in the amount of input you have in terms of color selection, but if asked, you should be able to speak intelligently about different choices and your reasons behind them in terms of the global marketplace.

Throughout the world different colors can mean different things. Colors that in some cultures represent prosperity and luck may mean negative things in others. If you work with a company that does business overseas, you'll want to do a little investigating as to what colors mean in the countries your client will be doing business with. If you can offer them some input on this, it will increase their confidence in your abilities and ultimately, deliver a more targeted product.

These days it isn't enough to have a good knack for color selection. If you'll be specializing in global Web design then you must have a good grasp of this subject and how it can affect your client. With the expansion of on-line marketing and shopping it is becoming an increasingly important facet of the Web design industry.

   
What is global Web design and why is it important?

What Is Global Web Design?

So what exactly is global Web design--and why is it important? Basically, global design means that cultural factors are taken into consideration when creating a Website or Web-related material. This can mean anything from language support to color selection, and it is an important component of doing business internationally on the Web.

Understanding the likes and dislikes of a particular society can influence how a company is perceived. In addition, being aware of any cultural taboos can help prevent mistakes and misunderstandings. This is extremely important when it comes to setting up a Website or an e-commerce site.

Global web design is fast becoming a sub-specialty in the Web development field. People with knowledge in this area are positioning themselves well for jobs in the future as global knowledge becomes more and more important. Companies are also becoming more aware of this idea and are looking for Web design professionals that have a good understanding of the global marketplace.

   
Is specializing in global Web topics a smart idea for those in marketing?

Marketing And Global Web Design

If you work in the freelance marketing field, global Web positioning can be a lucrative field to specialize in. Even if you are an employee in the marketing department in a Web design agency, this area is a good one to learn about, as the world becomes more interconnected.

Fine-tuning Websites for a global marketplace and researching information on how to maneuver a company into a specific area is something that few people have expertise in. If you set yourself apart as one of those people, it can increase your client base--or if you work at a company--your job security.

Getting the word out about your services may be as simple as teaming up with a Web designer or graphic design agency. Try to approach ones that have an international client list, and see if they have any positions available. If you don't have luck connecting with anyone this way, you can always freelance and highlight your global expertise as a selling point.

   
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Susan Sayour