How Designers Can Craft Accessible Web Experiences for an Audience of Older Adults

Crafting websites tailored to the needs of older adults requires some knowledge of the audience’s potential conditions and preferences. Brands catering to seniors or wanting to add more of them to the customer base can attract new customers by tweaking their designs.

If you sell products aimed at older adults, such as hearing aids or scooters, checking your site’s accessibility is a must. Banks, grocery stores and medical offices must cater to several generations. Ensuring everyone has an excellent user experience (UX) is crucial to success.

Potential Accessibility Issues for Seniors

According to the latest Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, older people are more likely to have a disability–around 46% of those over 75 report at least one condition. The most common issues include mobility and cognition. However, conditions can also include vision and hearing impairments.

As people age, they may deal with arthritis and vision issues, leading to struggles, particularly when using a small screen device. Tapping a tiny link or button may be impossible for someone with low manual dexterity.

Ways to Improve a Website Experience for Older Adults

Many of the principles designers use for excellent UX apply to creating a positive design for older adults. Adding a checklist of items to consider goes a long way toward keeping your site friendly to multiple age groups.

1. Increase Sizes

Since some seniors struggle with dexterity, arthritis and pain, making call to action (CTA) buttons larger can improve their interaction with your page.

Statista estimates that there are 311.36 million U.S. mobile internet users in 2024, with a projected increase to 333.18 by 2029. Some older adults only access websites via their smartphones. Imagine being in their shoes, trying to tap on a tiny little link when they struggle to use their hands already.

Going slightly larger positively impacts anyone with dexterity issues who wishes to access your site from a mobile device. Larger sizes also help those with visual struggles.

2. Improve Contrast

Older adults may find their vision isn’t as crisp as it once was. Some suffer from macular degeneration or cataracts. As people age, they often need readers for close-up text, too. Some won’t bother with the glasses and will struggle as text runs together.

One thing that helps older adults is using high contrast in your design. If your background is white, the text should be black or navy blue. Use big fonts that are clear and easy to decipher. Avoid scripts and decorative fonts whenever possible.

3. Tweak the Navigation

Simplify the navigation on your site. While Generation Z has grown up around technology and doesn’t remember a time without digital information, baby boomers grew up without computers. Many are quite tech-savvy, but they could struggle if you start moving navigation around or making elements challenging to find.

Excellent navigation benefits all your users, so spending time adding some breadcrumbs and making popular pages easy to find is worthwhile. Make your logo clickable so the user can easily return to the home page.

4. Perfect Visuals

Take the time to fix any issues with visuals. Even photos should have some contrast so they are easy to read. Add alt tags for those using screen readers.

As nearly two-thirds of readers still opt for physical written copies of content such as books when available versus digital content, some seniors may prefer to print pages to read or save for later. Ensure you have crisp displays that translate well to print, as well as an option to print content easily available.

If you have a text overlay on an image, follow best practices and use a serif or sans serif font, make it big and ensure it contrasts with the background.

5. Make Settings Adjustable

Make your design customizable to meet the needs of users from different generations. Code the option for them to change the text color, font size or lighting. You may need to add a video that shows how they can adjust things to suit their needs.

If you’re uncertain how to create personalized options, grab a code from a web design tool and insert it in your files.

6. Implement Error Correction

Look at your error correction models. Make forms as simple as possible to clarify which step to take next.

Your error messages should offer feedback to correct user mistakes. Imagine you want only their first name and email, but they fail to provide an extension on the email, rendering the information useless.

Offer a reminder that an email looks like name@provider.com and show them how to correct the mistake. You will have to spend a little more time coding your forms, but the result will be a senior-friendly form that is more enjoyable for those with less experience filling in digital forms.

Test With Your Users

Including all ages in your designs requires planning and persistence. Take the time to test out any design changes with your users. Gather a team of customers who will give honest feedback about what they like and what needs improvement. Over time, your design will become more accessible to older adults, and you’ll gain higher conversion rates and happier clients.

WordPress vs. Drupal: Which Is the Best Fit for Your Web Project?

Choosing the right content management system (CMS) is crucial for your website project. It impacts your site’s functionality, design and usability. To understand whether WordPress or Drupal is suitable for your site project, you must know their differences. Once you know how each CMS functions under various conditions, you can decide which one fits your needs best.

1. Scalability

When choosing between WordPress and Drupal, knowing their scalability is essential for ensuring your website can grow alongside your business needs.

WordPress

WordPress is well-known for its scalability. It powers small blogs and large enterprises alike. With so many plugins and themes, WordPress can easily handle increased traffic and content.

However, achieving optimal performance at scale often requires additional resources and optimizations. These would include tasks such as caching plugins, a good hosting service and a content delivery network.

Drupal

Drupal was already built with scalability in mind. It is highly flexible and can support large websites with traffic surges and extensive databases. Additionally, it offers advanced caching features and handles large-scale projects more efficiently than WordPress.

Winner: Drupal

Both CMSs can scale to meet the demands of growing websites. However, Drupal wins in handling large, complex projects. If you need enterprise-level scalability, it is often the better choice. Yet, with its ample plugin support, WordPress makes a strong contender for smaller sites.

2. Security

With cybercrime affecting approximately 32% of businesses annually and costing up to $6 trillion worldwide, security is a critical factor in choosing a CMS.

WordPress

WordPress is a frequent target for cyberattacks because 64.3% of websites worldwide use it as a CMS. However, security can be easy to handle by making regular updates and installing security plugins. Since it has a large community, you can also ensure quick identification and patching of vulnerabilities. Nonetheless, users must stay on top of best security practices to maintain a safe site.

Drupal

Drupal has a security team, making it more tightly controlled with potential threats. The CMS also has built-in security measures and rigorous coding standards government and corporate websites prefer.

Winner: Drupal

WordPress and Drupal offer strong security capabilities, but Drupal’s protocols and dedicated team give it an edge. However, any CMS can have security flaws, so proper management is essential to fixing vulnerabilities.

3. Ease of Use

One reason you may choose a CMS over the other is your technical expertise. Knowing how each affects the efficiency and flexibility of your development process helps you decide which CMS is better for your project needs.

WordPress

Many developers choose WordPress for its ease of setup and use. Its extensive documentation, large community, and various plugins and themes make development straightforward. Developers can get started quickly and customize websites with minimal coding. However, advanced customizations require in-depth knowledge of PHP, CSS and HTML.

Drupal

Drupal is more complex and has a steeper learning curve than WordPress. While it offers more flexibility and control, it can overwhelm beginners. Drupal’s modular approach allows developers to build highly customizable solutions, but it provides a deeper understanding of its architecture and coding practices.

Winner: WordPress

WordPress is the clear winner for ease of use and quicker setups. On the other hand, Drupal is more suitable if you are comfortable with greater complexity and need more control over your projects.

4. Website Integrations

A CMS should be able to connect with various tools and services to enhance functionality seamlessly.

WordPress

WordPress has over 59,000 plugins and numerous themes, allowing for integration with multiple third-party tools and services. From e-commerce to marketing automation, WordPress offers plugins for practically anything you need. Its REST API also enables further custom integrations, making it highly adaptable.

Drupal

Drupal also supports many integrations with third-party sites and tools. Its APIs allow connections to various systems, including CRM, ERP and marketing automation platforms. With its openness and level of customization, it makes a strong choice for intricate projects.

Winner: WordPress

WordPress and Drupal have strong integrations, but WordPress is more user-friendly. Therefore, WordPress is ideal if you desire easier implementation.

Making a Choice for Your Website Project

Choosing between WordPress and Drupal depends on your needs. Many developers use WordPress because of its ease of use and overall functionalities. However, if you need a CMS with more advanced customization and traffic scalability, consider using Drupal for your project.

Ads vs. Experience: Crafting a Website That Respects Both Revenue and UX

Utilizing ads on your website can increase revenue. Some businesses make as much off affiliate programs as sales of products or services. However, finding the right balance between ads and user experience (UX) requires finesse.

You should prioritize UX because your ads will get little traction without site visitors. Savvy website owners embrace best practices to enhance both revenue and UX.

1. Limit the Number of Ads

Some sites put up so many ads that users need help finding the content they need. How many are too many? The perfect balance may vary from one audience to another. Part of figuring out what works best for yours is knowing your customers and using a bit of common sense.

In a Picnic/YouGov survey, researchers found 70% of consumers find digital advertising annoying at best. Plus, nearly 90% of site visitors say they are less likely to return if they have a poor experience, meaning these annoyances could cost you repeat readers. While you may need the revenue to keep your site profitable, avoid overwhelming visitors with clutter.

It is impossible to state a specific number of ads that perfectly balance every site. Instead, listen to your users. If they complain about the ads, you have too many. Try multivariate testing — running one page with only two or three ads and one with more — to see which version converts best.

2. Make Speed a Priority

With advances in 5G and high-fiber internet speeds, people expect sites to load in milliseconds. If you have a lot of bulky ads on your page, it can impact UX as the person waits for the images to load.

Although many people have access to high-speed internet, some do not. Consider the slowest connection someone might have and aim to make their experience optimal.

3. Track and Fix Rage Clicks

Your site’s health shows up in the backend analytics. For example, if a particular link or button has rage clicks — repeated attempts to click on an element repeatedly and rapidly — you must test it and see if the link works.

A frustrated user will likely bounce away when page elements do not perform as expected. Your ads can create a similar problem, especially if they link to a third-party site. You may initially use a link an affiliate sent, but they change their website structure and the link no longer works as intended.

4. Test Ad Placement

Where is the best place to put your ads so they are non-intrusive? Each website is different. Your content impacts how invasive an ad is, and user preferences also come into play.

The best way to find the perfect ad placement for your website is to conduct A/B testing. Try ads above the fold, below the fold and in the sidebar. Pay attention to where people click. While you want them to look at advertisements and click on affiliate links, you also want your site sticky enough that they stay around for a while and bookmark pages for revisits.

What do other successful websites in your industry do? Note where they place their ads, how many they use on a page and how frequently they move them around. If something is not working, shift it to another area of the site.

5. Consider Aesthetics

Enhancing your website’s UX is about so much more than design. Even color selection impacts users. Once your site functions as intended, focus on its look and how well the ads mesh with elements such as the background color or other visuals on the page.

Step back from the computer and view the design from a distance. Pull it up on your mobile device and see if the ads overwhelm someone using a smartphone or tablet. Put yourself in the visitor’s shoes and make adjustments for an exceptional experience while driving traffic to money-making areas of your online business.

6. Focus on Native Advertising

The most effective ads blend with the rest of the website’s design and purpose. Rather than intruding on the user experience, they enhance it. Visitors often find native ads more attractive, too.

You can dig into your audience demographics and use sophisticated segmentation and targeting to make the ads as non-disruptive as possible. The result may be higher click-throughs and better returns. You can also focus on content-driven options related to the topic. Since the customer is already interested in what they are reading, they are much more likely to find the ad relevant.

Revenue and UX Are Equally Crucial

Balancing revenue needs with user experience is challenging. You must get details in front of people to make money, but at the same time, ads aggravate a lot of people. Finding the right mix takes time and testing.

Pay attention to analytics, survey customers, and look at heat maps to determine what is working and what needs replacing. Over time, you will succeed in both areas and find the perfect balance for your business.

How to Design Websites That Align With User Preferences

The most aesthetically pleasing website in the world only converts well if users enjoy the look and functionality of the site. Determining visitor preferences and how to meet their needs is a huge part of building a successful site.

Website design requires juggling multiple factors. Designers must determine the best typography, find which colors users respond best to, add interesting images and use the right language for their calls to action (CTAs). Meshing all the elements into a website that converts requires experience and practice.

Here are some steps to transform blah designs into fabulous, high-converting pages.

1. Research the Audience

People need to know their audience. Today’s research tools sort through massive amounts of data and spit out reports and predictions based on past behavior and audience demographics.

Designers should tap into the power of artificial intelligence (AI) tools to get a handle on what their users like best. People trying to reach a new audience should use AI to predict their preferred elements. They can then create new landing pages targeting a specific segment.

Source: https://www.shabbyfabrics.com

Shabby Fabrics takes into account that most quilters are women and chooses a color palette accordingly. While the mauve hues may not appeal to men who quilt, they will likely overlook the design for the vivid fabrics displayed on the page.

The design utilizes a deeper mauve for the top information ticker and a lighter shade for the navigation menu to create a design hierarchy that grabs user attention.

2. Speed up the Site

Designers who want to please everyone should ensure the site loads quickly. People are busy. If a website takes more than a few seconds to load, they’ll likely bounce away to a competitor. Mobile users are growing more frustrated with slow-loading pages with the advances in connectivity and the higher speeds of 5G networks.

Some ways to make a site load faster include investing in the best hosting plan possible, caching images and reducing file sizes.

3. Highlight Key Features

Knowing the audience means understanding what they care most about. Gen-Z users may be in college or trying to save money to buy a home. They’re likely on a budget and will appreciate highlighted sales and clearance items.

Other audiences may care more about quality, personalization or loyalty programs. Designers should know what visitors seek when they land on the page and can highlight those items to make locating them easier.

Source: https://arranmorelighting.com

Arranmore Lighting & Fans offers users the opportunity to shop by room, style or color. An analysis of how people search for items on a website provides insight into how to best meet their needs and design a site they’ll respond to.

The website also has a featured, colorful box on the home landing page showcasing the end-of-year clearance event. Designers can highlight inventory they wish to move in a similar way.

4. Improve Mobile Responsiveness

Revenue from mobile apps will reach $613 billion by 2025. People spend more time on their smartphones and buy from them more frequently than pre-COVID. People who want to meet user preferences must ensure their websites are mobile-responsive.

Test the site on different screen sizes and ensure they adapt and everything is readable. Consider how someone interacts on their phone versus a desktop computer. They need a button large enough to tap with their thumb or forefinger. They should also be able to automatically fill out forms so they don’t have to type on a tiny keyboard on their screen.

5. Select Visually Pleasing Colors

A pretty design is pleasing to all users. How do designers determine which colors work best, though? One rule of thumb is to limit the number of choices to three or so. There’s no need to include white or black in the equation.

Consider white space and balance. A bold red next to a brilliant blue and dark purple text could make the site unreadable. There should be a nice contrast and accent colors to create an aesthetically desirable design.

Source: https://www.semrush.com

SEMRush uses bright colors but creates enough contrast to keep the overall look readable. The deep purple background has geometric accents in the corners in a medium purple and green. The text is a neutral white to pop against the darker background. The entire impact is bright, exciting and usable.

6. Listen to User Feedback

Designers should ask users what they prefer. They could send out a survey and ask for feedback on their website design. It’s hard to know what people want unless they’re asked. Let them vote on two different looks, have input on color palettes and say which features they want to keep and which can go.

Marketers can also pay attention to heatmaps and see if CTA buttons or pages aren’t converting well. Do people bounce off the page within a second or two? Adjustments may be needed to keep them on the site longer.

7. Make Images Relevant

Photos and illustrations help add to a design’s overall impact n. However, if they aren’t relevant, images can detract from the message. Designers should seek unique visuals that pull the reader in and further explain the information on the page or add interest.

Images can move the reader’s attention where it should go. A person pointing toward a CTA button or looking to the right where the text is can encourage the user in the proper direction through the sales funnel.

Source: https://www.firewatchgame.com

Firewatch is an interesting product site for gamers. The logo sits at the top center of the page, and to the side is a man on a cliff looking out for a fire. However, he also faces toward the logo, drawing attention to it and showing the user what the game is about through the wordmark.

Adding illustrations and images and thinking through the subtle impact can give website designs an underlying element that drives engagement.

Run Tests and Listen to Customers

Determining what users want takes time. A/B tests can uncover which designs they respond best to. Designers should consistently try new things, ask site visitors what they think and add new elements to better meet their needs. A website that hits all the high points can lead to more conversions and loyal fans who share the brand with their connections.


Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.

Pushing Boundaries: Advanced Graphic Design Techniques for Enhanced Work

Graphic design is an essential profession businesses need for marketing campaigns, visualizations of projects and presentations. However, you already know this because you have been in the game for a while and are ready to take your designs to the next level. There comes a time in every professional’s life when they need to advance their skills. If you are ready to move up in your career, learning the different graphic design techniques to boost your work is essential. 

1. 3D Design and Rendering

3D design and rendering is an advanced graphic design technique that turns flat concepts into three-dimensional visuals. This process involves two key stages:

  • Model creation
  • Rendering

In the model creation phase, designers use modeling software to build 3D models. These tools enable you to create intricate shapes and structures, offering control over dimensions and spatial arrangements. Designers manipulate elements like edges and faces in a virtual space to form detailed models. The model development process can be complex, from creating product prototypes to animated characters.

The next step of 3D design is rendering. This phase is where models get their final appearance. The techniques involve applying textures, lighting and shading to make the design realistic. For instance, texture mapping adds surface details, like colors or patterns. Meanwhile, lighting and shading enhance the model’s depth or create a specific effect.

3D design is essential across various fields. You can use it in advertising to create hyper-realistic visuals of products so customers can visualize the items before purchasing. It is an excellent way for designers to bring visual concepts to life. 

2. Custom Typography Graphic Design Techniques

Some graphic designers have an obsession with fonts. After all, working with them helps you communicate a brand’s identity and its vision. However, customizing typography goes beyond selecting pre-made fonts. Instead, it involves creating your own lettering that captures a specific style. 

Custom typography often starts with a concept or theme. Designers begin by considering the message and tone they want the typography to convey. Different fonts can be playful, sophisticated or edgy. Your choice depends on the aesthetics and emotions you want to portray.

Yet, once you have chosen your concept, the fun part comes into play. Here, designers sketch their initial ideas, experimenting with letter shapes, sizes and spacing. Whether digital or by hand, you must focus on crafting letters that come in a set. Each character must work together with others while maintaining their unique features.

After sketching, you will refine your design using graphic design software. The tool you use will allow for more precise adjustments and fine-tuning. You can manipulate curves, adjust weight, and experiment with different styles like serif, sans serif or script. The goal is to create a balanced, readable typeface that resonates with your audience. 

3. Printmaking and Materials

Printmaking is where you translate digital designs into physical forms. While the process involves incorporating your design skills, you must also know various printing techniques and material properties.

An excellent example of this technique is using graphic overlays in print design. Graphic overlays are printed graphics applied onto different materials, often used in product design, packaging and signage. They add a layer of visual and tactile interest, enhancing the aesthetics and functionality.

The process begins with selecting the right material and thickness for the overlay. Typically, the material’s thickness falls between five and 20 millimeters — anything over 20 mm makes it tougher to cut. The types of materials used can range from vinyl and polyester to polycarbonate. Each of their properties can vary in durability, flexibility and transparency.

The next phase involves creating graphics while taking the chosen materials into account. For example, your selected color can appear different when printed on various substrates. You must also consider the printing method, whether it is digital printing, screen printing or lithography. Each offers benefits regarding quality, cost and suitability for the material.

Finally, the overlay is produced and applied. This part can involve additional treatments like die-cutting, embossing or adding adhesive backing. These finishing touches are crucial for the overlay’s functionality, ensuring it adheres properly and withstands different conditions. 

4. Color Grading and Manipulation Graphic Design Techniques

Color grading and manipulation are advanced techniques in graphic design that impact mood, tone and overall visual appeal. It involves adjusting colors in an image to achieve a specific look or feel, which can be a complex process for a beginner. 

Before you dive into color grading, you must understand color theory. With 90% of first impressions of a design being based on color alone, designers need to know how colors interact, influence emotions and convey messages. Once you understand how colors impact audiences, you can use this knowledge to enhance the visual narratives of an image.

Designers often work with software like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom to execute color grading. Within these tools, you can adjust various aspects of color, like hue and saturation. Hue shifts can change an entire color scheme, while saturation intensifies or mutes colors. 

Color manipulation is a more complex technique known as selective color grading. This is where you apply changes to specific areas of an image, leaving others untouched. This approach aims to draw the viewer’s attention or create a focal point in design. 

In summary, color grading and manipulation are about controlling the visual atmosphere of a design. Through color adjustment, you create compelling imagery that keeps the viewer engaged for a long time.

5. Composite Imagery

Composite imagery combines multiple images or elements to create a single digital image. This method is particularly powerful for storytelling, allowing you to place various pieces into a narrative. For example, you will often find composite images in movie posters. They merge multiple elements of the main narrative into one frame, involving the setting, characters, conflict and theme. 

When working with composite imagery, you must select various elements for the final design. These components can be photographs, illustrations, text or digital renderings. The key is that each component should work together to create a story or message.

Once you choose the elements, the next step is blending them seamlessly. Adobe Photoshop is a popular tool for this design phase. You can use tools like layer masks, blending modes and adjustment layers. However, attention to detail is essential in composite imagery. This considers everything from light source and shadows to perspective and scale to ensure the elements look like they belong in the same space. The goal is to make it realistic, depending on the intended effect.

Enhance Your Projects With Advanced Graphic Design Techniques

Mastering advanced graphic design techniques opens a world of creative possibilities. Each method — from 3D rendering to composite imagery — is a tool to express your vision and tell compelling stories. Keep in mind that the key to excellence in design is continual learning and experimentation. When you push your creative boundaries, you enhance your skills and leave a lasting impact in the graphic design world. 

Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.

8 Ways AI is Enhancing Efficiency and Innovation in Web Development

The impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on nearly every industry has become apparent in 2023. Companies everywhere are looking at how they can implement machine learning ethically and transparently. AI web development is just one more niche in a long list of enterprises tapping into the power of machine learning.

Using it can save you time and money. AI helps perfect processes, speed up coding and ensure consistency. With more time to focus on the creative side of things, developers can brainstorm innovative new ideas. Here are eight ways AI is enhancing efficiency and innovation in web development.

1. Improved Customer Support

Chatbots utilizing AI technology have become quite popular in 2023. Almost immediately after OpenAI released ChatGPT in November 2022, businesses began to see the advantages of having a smart machine interact with customers, answer common questions and take on the role of basic customer support.

Chatbots are well suited to solve some things but not everything. In a Gartner survey, researchers found chatbots solved 58% of returns and cancellations but only 17% of billing disputes. Web development companies can utilize chatbots to handle canceled orders and answer basic questions, freeing up staff time to build a stronger workplace culture and better programs.

2. Better Customer Engagement

AI web development often focuses on the user experience (UX) to ensure the finished product solves a pain point for customers. Tapping into the power of AI allows programmers to run through massive amounts of data about the consumer base and spit out reports that offer insight into their needs and preferences.

In addition, you can use AI to test modules and ensure everything runs smoothly. The better the UX, the more reach you will gain with your website designs. Word-of-mouth marketing is a powerful, free form of advertising — when your product shines, you will attract more referrals.

3. Higher Efficiency

Utilizing AI allows you to save money and increase efficiency. Make a list of the menial tasks developers do in a day — anything repetitive can usually be automated to save time, reducing overhead costs.

Website development firms may pay big salaries to skilled workers within a niche development area. When you automate some tasks, you gain additional time for the person to work on creating a new app or reaching out to new customers.

4. Better Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Do not limit the use of AI to your development team, though — anyone on your staff can benefit from automation. The sales department can use it to create better customer relationships. Use CRM software to send a note to people on their birthdays, when a renewal is approaching or to announce a new product they might find beneficial.

CRM programs give companies insight into past buying behavior and predict future patterns. You can also use it to develop buyer personas to help with stronger marketing. Ideally, your team will work alongside one another with web developers, chatting with marketing and sales to come up with new software people want and ways to best promote it.

AI web development considers every touchpoint the user has from the first moment they land on the page until they convert into a buyer. When in doubt, the designer can run the concept through an AI model to see if there are any bottlenecks.

5. Employee Retention

If the 20% voluntary turnover rate remains or increases, keeping your top performers may become more difficult. Keeping your best staff saves you recruiting costs and lost time. If you have to replace someone who knows the job well, it takes time to find someone who can do the same tasks, train them and wait for them to build the skills.

It is better to keep the workers you have, but how does AI help with retention? You can use it to drive productive onboarding, train employees in weak areas and identify people who are dissatisfied with their jobs. HR can tap into the power of machines to customize employee packages and meet their individual needs.

6. Automated Personalization

The same data that goes into creating a personalized worker experience can be used to cater to customer needs. AI gives you a chance to collect behavioral data from buyers and see what they respond best to.

Tweak some aspects of a website based on how users interact with various features. Gather data and process it quickly for insight into where to place a call to action button or which offers people respond to best.

Many clients are looking for brands using the powerful insight AI offers, so you can use your development procedures to entice attractive offers. When they hear how you are tapping into machines to drive growth for your other clients, they will be more likely to sign up for a web development package.

7. Improved Security

The global cost of cybercrime is around $8 trillion annually, with a prediction of $13.8 trillion by 2028. Some of the ways you can use AI to help manage cybersecurity include using it for threat detection, where the computer tracks patterns for any sudden shifts in traffic or strange user behavior. It can then block IPs or shore up security on the spot.

You can also use AI for risk management and pinpointing weaknesses in a system. Offering your clients reassurance that you are on top of potential threats puts you ahead of smaller brands without the resources to track cybercrime.

Why You Should Turn to AI Web Development

AI web development offers many advantages to traditional methods, giving you more time to create amazing designs that help you stand out from competitors. Implementing it in your work improves efficiency and puts you ahead of the game.


Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.

Google’s Helpfulness Core Update: Write for People, Not for Robots

Google’s latest update, known as the Helpfulness update, is reshaping the landscape of SEO and content creation. Danny Sullivan, Google’s Search Liaison, has shed light on what constitutes ‘unhelpful content’ in the eyes of the world’s largest search engine. As an advocate for user-centric content, Sullivan underscores that the primary red flag for Google is content created with the intent to rank well in search results rather than to genuinely serve end users. While creating content that search engines can find is important, what is more important is remembering your true audience: people.

Stop writing content for search engines

Sullivan’s guidance is unambiguous: content written for search engines rather than human audiences is considered unhelpful. For instance, creating a list of “20 SEO Tricks to rank on Google” that are just common knowledge with the main goal of ranking for “SEO Tricks” instead of providing real value to readers exemplifies content that Google would label as unhelpful. This pivots the focus from search engine optimization to the actual value and relevance for the audience. This will likely have a serious negative impact on sites and pages that employ sketchy methods for keeping people scrolling, for example, recipe websites that bury the actual recipe under a deep bed of search engine bait text. This move is nothing new. We have seen similar updates to search ranking that target and derank unhelpful page designs to falsely increase SEO and SERPs while annoying visitors. The infamous slideshow article trick may immediately come to mind for SEO specialists who suffered through the age of the click-through wars. In the end, the message is simple: write for people, not for robots, because the goal is to create content that helps real people, and keeps the ‘robot’ of AI and SEO tools as a passive intermediary instead of the main target.

Highlights on the Google Helpfulness Core Update:

  • Danny Sullivan’s Warning: Google’s Search Liaison, Danny Sullivan, highlights the issue with content created mainly for search engine rankings rather than for human readers.
  • Criteria for Unhelpful Content: Writing content like top 10 lists mainly to rank for keywords is considered unhelpful by Google.
  • Content Creation Tools Caution: Using tools to find content topics might lead to content that Google deems unhelpful if the focus is on scoring rather than genuine content creation.
  • Guidance on Useful Content: Sullivan emphasizes creating people-first content that answers questions and provides value as opposed to search engine-first content.
  • Signals for Helpful Content: Google uses web signals to determine content helpfulness, favoring content that addresses user queries effectively.
  • Content and Quality Questions: Google suggests self-assessment questions regarding originality, comprehensiveness, insight, value, and credibility of content.
  • Expertise Matters: Questions surrounding the expertise involved in content creation are crucial for establishing trustworthiness.
  • Page Experience Significance: A good page experience across various aspects is important for high rankings in Google’s systems.
  • People-First Content Approach: Content should be created primarily for people, with a focus on expertise and satisfaction from the reader’s perspective.
  • Avoid Search Engine-First Tactics: Google discourages creating content solely to gain search engine rankings, warning against practices like keyword stuffing or chasing trending topics without genuine expertise.
  • SEO and Content Creation: While SEO is essential, it should complement people-first content rather than dominate the creation process.
  • Understanding E-E-A-T: Google uses E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) as a framework to identify high-quality content.
  • Quality Rater Guidelines: Google’s quality rater guidelines help creators understand how their content may be perceived by Google’s algorithms.
  • Content Evaluation Tips: Creators are encouraged to ask “Who, How, and Why” about their content to align with what Google’s systems reward.
  • Disclosures on Automation and AI: Transparency about the use of AI or automation in content creation can aid in establishing trust with readers.

Sullivan points out that relying excessively on tools to determine content topics can inadvertently lead to the production of unhelpful content. He suggests that content creators should prioritize the “who, how, and why” of content production over merely aiming for a high ‘score’ that would supposedly please search engines.

Answers a user’s question effectively

Responding to a query from Simone de Vlaming about how Google discerns the intent behind content, Sullivan explains that Google’s algorithms look for signals that align with what people generally consider helpful. Content that answers a user’s question effectively is likely to be seen as ‘people-first’ and, therefore, helpful.

crackdown on high-domain-authority news site exploits

The Helpfulness update has implications for SEO strategies. ‘Parasite SEO,’ which exploits high-domain-authority news sites for quick rankings, might take a hit if it dilutes the site’s primary focus. The use of AI in content creation could also be under scrutiny, especially if it leads to content that lacks firsthand expertise or appears automated without clear disclosure. For example, this article employed Ai to design the post image! (Which we are disclosing to you here, but also in our metadata.) ‘Tool-Optimized Content,’ like that created using SEO tools for research, (think SEMrush or AHREFS) will most likely not be at significant risk, since the bulk of research and content development is still person first, and provided it also caters to user needs and offers genuine value.

Focus on Topical Authority

Strategies likely to benefit from the update include building ‘Topical Authority,’ which entails creating focused content around a specific niche. Google favors sites with a clear primary purpose, and a concentration on topical authority aligns with that preference. For example, we allow guest posts but only from a select few and under a limited number of topics that we know our Louisville-local audience of website owners have an interest in. Additionally, content optimized for user metrics, such as minimizing the need for users to search elsewhere for better information, may gain traction. This speaks directly to E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) page and site structure goals. Make it easy for people to find what they want on your site and you will do well with the new helpfulness update.

Navigate the Helpfulness update successful

To navigate the Helpfulness update successfully, Google advises content creators to ask themselves key questions about the originality, comprehensiveness, and trustworthiness of their content. These questions address factors like spelling and stylistic issues, mass production, expertise, and the overall page experience. In plain terms, do you enjoy reading your own content? If not, you may want to rethink your content strategy.

People-First Content is essential

The main emphasis, if you have not already noticed, is on ‘People-First Content.’ Google encourages content creators to craft material that serves their intended audience with depth and expertise. Conversely, ‘Search Engine-First Content’ should be avoided, as it is made primarily for ranking purposes and could lead to penalties. The good news is this is a “if you know you know” situation. If you are not sure what that means there is a good chance you are already doing the right thing because your content is guided by human interaction and your very real experiences that you want to share. If however you are using so many SEO tools to create content that becoming a cyborg is starting to appeal to you, I would strongly suggest taking a step back and taking a “Touch Grass” approach to your content strategy. Slip on your real-world experience and write from the heart. You don’t have to produce The Lord of the Rings or the Magna Carta for each new post, but try to come at it from a perspective that what you write needs to be engaging and influential in a real and authentic way.

A call to action for content with integrity, authenticity, and audience Focus

Google’s Helpfulness update is a call to action for creators to produce content with integrity, authenticity, and a focus on the audience. By aligning with Google’s guidance, content creators can ensure they are contributing positively to the vast pool of online information and standing out in the digital arena.

Helpful Links and resources on Raising the Bar for Content Quality:

Creating helpful, reliable, people-first content https://developers.google.com/search/docs/fundamentals/creating-helpful-content

Google Search Status Dashboard
https://status.search.google.com/products/rGHU1u87FJnkP6W2GwMi/history

Interested in seeing what SEOs are saying about the Helpfulness update on Reddit? Check out this thread started by Matt Diggety:

Things You Need for Your Daycare or Childcare Website Design

A compelling website is the face of your daycare or childcare center. It’s the first impression, the virtual handshake, and the platform that showcases your dedication to nurturing young minds. As a website designer, I’ve had the privilege of crafting digital spaces for numerous care centers, and I’ve distilled my experience into this guide. So, let’s dive into the essentials that will make your childcare website shine!

Why Localized Online Presence Matters

In today’s digital age, a website isn’t just a luxury—it’s a necessity. Especially for daycares and childcare providers in Louisville, where parents are constantly on the lookout for the best environment for their children. A well-designed website offers potential clients a glimpse into the heart of your services, setting the stage for trust and connection.

Boosting Your Visibility

With so many care centers popping up online, how do you ensure parents in Louisville see yours? The answer lies in effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO). By employing the latest SEO techniques, we ensure your website ranks higher, making it easier for local parents to find you. But visibility isn’t just about being seen—it’s about standing out. With engaging content and a modern design, your care center will not only attract but also captivate your target audience.

Driving Enrollment Through Design

A visually appealing website can be the deciding factor for a parent. Our designs focus on highlighting what makes your care center special. From showcasing facilities to integrating virtual tours and clear calls to action, we aim to turn curious visitors into enrolled clients.

Seamless Online Interactions

The modern parent values ease and efficiency. We assist care centers in setting up user-friendly online accounts. This allows parents to schedule visits, make payments, and communicate with your team effortlessly. Moreover, integrating your website with social media platforms ensures a consistent and broad-reaching digital presence.

Three Steps to a Stellar Care Center Website

Discovery & Planning: This is where we get to know you. Through consultations, content audits, and competitive analysis, we understand what sets your center apart.
Design & Development: Tailored designs ensure your website resonates with your brand and appeals to your audience. We prioritize user-friendly navigation, engaging visuals, and interactive features.
Launch & Optimize: Before your site goes live, we ensure everything is perfect. From thorough testing to SEO integration, we set you up for success.

Ready to Elevate Your Online Presence?

With a well-crafted website, you can truly represent the heart and soul of your care center. It’s not just about aesthetics; it’s about creating a platform that showcases your dedication to care. If you’re ready to embark on this digital journey, let’s work together to create a website that resonates with parents, guardians, and the Louisville community.

Childcare website templates and Services

In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is not just an option—it’s a necessity. For care centers, daycares, and childcare providers, a well-designed website serves as the first point of contact for potential clients, offering them a glimpse into the quality and uniqueness of the services provided. At Design Web Louisville, we specialize in crafting bespoke websites tailored to the specific needs of care centers, ensuring they stand out in the crowded digital landscape. Dive into our specialized services designed to elevate your care center’s online presence:

Increasing Visibility and Standing Out

With numerous care centers vying for attention online, standing out is paramount. Our team employs the latest Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques to ensure your website ranks higher in search results. Coupled with engaging content and a modern design, we ensure your care center not only attracts but also captivates your target audience.

Increasing Enrollment

A well-structured and visually appealing website can be the difference between a parent choosing your center or moving on to the next option. Our designs focus on showcasing the strengths, facilities, and unique offerings of your care center. By highlighting testimonials, integrating virtual tours, and providing clear calls to action, we aim to convert website visitors into enrolled clients.

Set Up Online Accounts and Social Media

Parents and guardians often look for seamless online experiences in this interconnected era. We help care centers set up user-friendly online accounts, allowing parents to easily schedule visits, make payments, and communicate with staff. Additionally, our team integrates your website with social media platforms, ensuring consistent branding and messaging across all digital touchpoints.

Build your care center using our Amazing childcare website template

Introducing our premium care center website template: The Amazing Childcare Template, a perfect blend of modern aesthetics and top-tier functionality. Designed specifically for care centers, this template is not only visually appealing but also boasts a lightning-fast load time. For centers keen on owning and managing their digital presence, our template offers an intuitive user experience, ensuring even those with minimal tech knowledge can navigate with ease. Plus, with SEO best practices seamlessly integrated, your center is primed to rank high on search engines. Dive into a digital experience that’s contemporary, efficient, and tailored to showcase the best of your care center. Choose the Amazing Childcare Websites and let us craft a digital experience, or DIY the site on your own. You can build the site on your own with ease or use one of our care center website design specialists to create a site that resonates with parents, guardians, and the community, positioning your care center as the go-to choice in your locality.

our easy 3-step process for building a care center website

1. Discovery & Planning: Understand Your Unique Needs

Consultation Session: We begin with a detailed consultation to understand your care center’s mission, values, and unique offerings. This helps us grasp the essence of what sets your center apart.

Content Audit: We review any existing content, photos, and digital assets you have. This helps us identify gaps and areas of improvement.

Competitive Analysis: By analyzing competitors’ websites, we can pinpoint what works in the industry and identify opportunities to make your site stand out.

2. Design & Development: Bringing Your Vision to Life

Custom Design: Based on our discovery phase, we craft a design that resonates with your brand and appeals to your target audience. We focus on user-friendly navigation and engaging visuals.

Responsive Development: We ensure your website looks and functions seamlessly across all devices, from desktops to smartphones.

Interactive Features: From virtual tours of your facility to online enrollment forms, we integrate features that enhance user experience and streamline administrative tasks.

3. Launch & Optimize: Setting You Up for Success

Quality Assurance: Before launch, we conduct thorough testing to ensure every page loads correctly, and all features function as intended.

SEO Integration: We optimize your site for search engines, ensuring parents and guardians can easily find you when searching for care centers in your area.

Post-Launch Support: After your site goes live, we offer support and training, ensuring you’re confident in managing your new website. Plus, we’re always here for any updates or changes you’d like to make in the future.

ready to elevate your care center’s online presence and connect with more families?

With these three steps, we guarantee a website that not only looks great but also serves as a valuable tool for attracting and engaging with potential clients. Let’s embark on this digital journey together and create a website that truly represents the heart of your care center. Let’s craft a website that showcases your unique offerings and dedication to care.

additional care center and care provider marketing services

Custom Website Design

Tailored designs to reflect the unique essence of each care center, ensuring it resonates with the target audience.

Content Management System (CMS) Integration

Empowering care centers to easily update and manage their website content without technical expertise.

Interactive Calendars

Display upcoming events, activities, and important dates for parents and staff.

Secure Parent Portals

A private area for parents to access reports, updates, and communicate with the care center staff.

Integrated Blog Platform

Share news, updates, and articles related to childcare, development, and other relevant topics.

Social Media Integration

Linking to and integrating content from social media platforms to enhance community engagement.

Custom Forms

Design forms for inquiries, feedback, or job applications.

E-commerce Integration

For centers that sell products, books, or other materials.

Multilingual Support

Cater to diverse communities by offering content in multiple languages.

Training & Workshops

Empower care center staff with the skills to manage and update their website.

Responsive Web Development

Ensuring all websites are mobile-friendly and accessible across various devices, from smartphones to tablets and desktops.

Online Booking & Registration

Seamless integration of booking systems for parents and guardians to schedule visits, tours, or register their children.

Photo & Video Galleries

Showcase facilities, events, and daily activities to give potential clients a glimpse into the care environment.

Testimonials & Reviews Section

Highlight positive feedback from satisfied parents and guardians.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Optimize the website for search engines to increase visibility and attract more visitors.

E-Newsletter Sign-Up

Keep parents and guardians informed with regular updates, news, and announcements.

Interactive Facility Tours

Offer virtual tours or interactive maps of the facility for prospective clients.

Safety & Security Features

Ensure the website is secure, with SSL certificates and other safety measures.

Ongoing Maintenance & Support

Regular updates, security checks, and technical support to keep the website running smoothly.

Branding & Logo Design

Crafting a unique identity for care centers, including logo design, color schemes, and branding materials.

Care Center Website Design Specialized Services

With our specialized services, care centers, daycares, and childcare providers can establish a strong online presence, effectively reaching out to parents and guardians, and showcasing the best they have to offer.

Creating a Nextdoor Ad in Louisville, Kentucky

In Louisville, local businesses thrive when they connect with their immediate community. Nextdoor, a neighborhood-focused platform, offers a unique advertising opportunity for businesses to reach out to their local audience. Here’s how you can harness its power in just five easy steps:

Advertising and Marketing Tips for Creating a Nextdoor Ad in Louisville, Kentucky

Define Your Objective: Before diving in, determine what you want to achieve. Whether it’s driving traffic to your website, promoting a sale, or initiating conversations with potential customers, having a clear goal will guide your advertising strategy.

Craft Your Ad: Design an ad that resonates with your target audience. Ensure it aligns with your brand and effectively communicates your message.

Target the Right Audience: Louisville is diverse. Choose the neighborhoods or demographics that align best with your business offerings.

Budget Wisely: Set a daily budget that aligns with your marketing goals. Remember, every dollar counts!

Launch and Monitor: Once you’re satisfied, pay and publish your ad.

Maximize Your Budget

In Louisville’s competitive market, it’s essential to get the most out of every advertising dollar. With Nextdoor, you have complete control over your budget, ensuring you achieve your goals without overspending. You may also want to check to make sure Nextdoor is where you demographic can be targeted so you can set the correct budget. Keep in mind that Nextdoor is primarily a mature audience, so if your primary market is young people, than you might want to save your budget for platforms with a higher volume of people in your demographic. It’s also considered one of the least popular forms of social media in the country, with only 13% of Americans saying they have used it. That said, if you are looking for older homeowners, it might be a perfect place for your next ad campaign. Just because the pool is small does not mean it is not an ideal space for capturing leads, especially if it’s your ideal market. It is also a great space for making the most of your budget with a seriously low CPC or cost per click – In 2020, the average CPC for Nextdoor was just $0.6, an unusually reasonable value for the ad market.

Here are Some Demographics for Nextdoor: 

Gender: 63.23% female, 36.77% male

Age: The largest age group of visitors are 55–64 year olds

Ethnicity: 15% White, 10% Black, 8% Hispanic

Community type: 17% urban, 14% suburban

Households: Nearly 1 in 3 households in the U.S.

Daily active users: Around 700,000

Stay Updated On-the-Go

With Nextdoor’s mobile dashboard, track your ad’s performance anytime, anywhere. Monitor views, clicks, and messages to understand what’s working and refine your strategy over time.

Choosing the Right Ad Type for Your Business

Drive Website Traffic: Showcase your products or highlight services to entice new customers to visit online or in-store.

Promote Deals: Everyone in Louisville loves a bargain! Attract new and returning customers with special offers or discounts.

Engage Directly: Open a line of communication with potential clients. Educate them about your offerings and seal the deal.

Where Will Your Ad Appear?

Your ad’s placement depends on your chosen goal. Nextdoor offers multiple display areas:

Newsfeed: Engage with neighbors in real-time as they scroll through local updates.

Right-hand Rail: Perfect for ads aiming to increase website visits.

For Sale & Free: Ideal for businesses looking to tap into the local marketplace.

Real Estate Section: Tailored for real estate and home service businesses, this section showcases homes and services to interested neighbors.

Understanding Billing

Choose a billing method that aligns with your campaign goals:

Continuous Ads with Monthly Billing: Ideal for ongoing promotions. Set your budget and let your ad run continuously. You’ll be billed every 31 days, ensuring your campaign remains uninterrupted.

Ads with a Specific End Date: Perfect for time-bound promotions. Pay upfront based on your daily budget and campaign duration. Any remaining funds can be utilized for your next ad.

In the heart of Louisville, where community matters, Nextdoor offers a unique platform for businesses to connect with locals. Dive into this advertising opportunity and watch your business flourish in the community you love.

What Are the Essential Business Expenses that Shouldn’t Be Avoided?

Running a company is expensive. If you hope to make a profit while keeping prices competitive, you will need to minimize your operating costs wherever possible. At the same time, there are some business expenses you should not cut from the budget.

Many enterprises spend too much on avoidable or unnecessary expenses. However, if you want to cut costs effectively, you must recognize the spending areas you should always include in your budget. Here are five such essential expense categories you should think twice about before cutting.

Licenses and Permits

Regulatory costs are the most important business expenses to consider. While some of these fees may be expensive, they are far less than the cost of noncompliance penalties or — in a worst-case scenario — losing your right to operate.

Most companies require state and federal licenses to operate legally. Depending on where you work and what industry you are in, the accompanying fees can cost several hundred dollars. Many licenses also expire after a set period, in turn requiring renewal and more permit-related costs.

In some cases, you can get additional permits that may not be mandatory but let you perform services that set you apart from the competition. Whether this spending is worth it depends on your local market and what you specialize in. For most regulatory costs, though, the only way to minimize them is to avoid penalties. Review all applicable regulations to determine your necessary licenses before setting a budget.

Employee Wages and Benefits

Employee expenses are a more contentious area for many organizations. Wages and benefits can be some of your biggest operating costs, so it makes sense to want to reduce them. While spending too much on your workforce is possible, lowering salaries is not always ideal.

At the most basic level, your business needs staff to work efficiently and the law requires you to pay them a certain amount. It is often best to go above and beyond these minimums, though. Offering a competitive salary and benefits package may cost more, but it can also lead to more productive and engaged employees.

Many companies today struggle to retain staff because people have more employment options than ever, so they often leave for better-paying positions. Considering hiring and onboarding are far more expensive than keeping a good employee, it is typically best to offer better compensation in the first place.

Insurance

Insurance is another crucial business expense you should not gloss over. Some forms of insurance — such as vehicle insurance and worker’s compensation — are mandatory in some areas and industries. Others may not be a legal requirement but are worth the cost, considering how much they save in an emergency.

Professional liability insurance minimizes legal costs from claims from dissatisfied customers, which is ideal for some high-risk products and sectors. If your brick-and-mortar facilities reside in storm-prone areas, you may also consider flood or wind coverage for your building. You can determine what insurance you need by reviewing your enterprise’s costliest and most likely risks.

In some cases, you can write off business insurance on your taxes because it is common and necessary in your industry. Remember to capitalize on that opportunity to minimize your expenses without sacrificing safety.

Equipment and Maintenance

Depending on your industry, equipment costs may be another class of unavoidable business expenses. Just as you need talented and engaged employees to work efficiently, you need the right tools for the job. Opting for the least amount of or cheapest possible machinery may seem smart initially, but it often leads to low efficiency or poor-quality output.

Of course, you do not necessarily need top-of-the-line machinery in every instance. Making the most of these investments is often more about selecting the optimal tool for a specific use case rather than simply spending more. Determine how much you should pay by comparing prices to expected depreciation, any resulting savings from efficiency and equipment longevity.

Maintenance is another crucial spending category, especially if you use high-end equipment. Regular maintenance may seem expensive, but it saves money in the long run by preventing costly, disruptive breakdowns.

Web Presence

As the internet’s role in life and business grows, your organization’s web presence is becoming increasingly important. Consequently, building and maintaining an engaging website and social media channels is now a critical business expense.

A well-designed website and carefully curated social media profiles will help you reach new customers and engage existing ones. Expanding your web presence will also provide more data on your customers and target markets. Direct, personalized marketing drives sales and increases loyalty, and the only way to achieve it is through this data, so take advantage of this opportunity.

Social media marketing, web design, search engine optimization services and cloud infrastructure to enable a more responsive website are all worthwhile investments. You can determine where to focus this spending by learning more about your target audience. If you want to reach younger consumers, mobile-optimized websites and social media are ideal, whereas a B2B business may prefer to pay for email marketing.

Get More Out of Your Necessary Expenses

Effective saving starts with recognizing where you cannot afford to cut corners. These five business expenses are all areas where a little more spending is worth it in the long run. Whether they are a matter of legality, efficiency or long-term savings, these cost categories deserve dedicated room in your budget.

It is possible — and recommended — to approach these expenses carefully to see how you can avoid spending too much on them. Simultaneously, reaching only the bare minimum in these areas will end up costing you more than you would initially save.


Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.