2022 Website Trends: User-First Design with Jarrett Fleagle
Jarrett Fleagle is the Director of Marketing at WebMechanix, which helps mid-market and enterprise brands crank up user acquisition and predictably grow revenue through digital marketing.
At WebMechanix, Jarrett teaches brand CMOs and performance marketing leaders how to win in the volatile digital landscape of the 2020s.
In this interview, we discuss:
- What interactive elements make websites more user friendly
- How clever design and benefits-driven copy engage visitors
- Why personalization is a long-lasting trend for websites
To start, give a high-level introduction of your background
I’ve been with WebMechanix for the past ten years. I started learning the digital marketing ropes here and eventually became the marketing leader for the company, so it’s been a fun journey, and I’m excited to see where it goes from here.
What are some gold standard websites that you just love right now?
Thanks to our in-house design and creative team, I have three great examples to share.
Website #1: Coda
The first site I want to share is Coda. Right off the bat, you notice their organized page layout and streamlined navigation.
But there’s also a bold, clear positioning statement on the home page. They use concise copy that tells you what the product does.
And of course, there’s the lizard. It’s amazing. I love it because it cuts through most websites’ blocky, flat, 2-D experience and promotes engagement out of the gate. It really sucks you into the site.
You also get a taste of what the product is like and what you’ll see when you create your first doc. And as you scroll down, you see solid social proof, simple, benefits-driven copy, interactive video, and testimonials.
So you can see that they’re telling a story and creating a visual experience to allow visitors to see the product in action. By the time visitors get to the bottom of the homepage, they know the product, the benefits to expect, and they’re much more ready to take action.
Explore an interactive demo of Coda:
See why Jarrett choose Coda as one of his gold standard websites.
Website #2: Betterment
Betterment is a similar example. This site also has very clean navigation, clear ways to log in and engage, and a very clear CTA to get started.
On the right, we get a tease of the product, which is a user’s first question. What will the app look like, and how does it work?
The visual design of the mountains also draws your eyes down the page. The sailboat then guides you into Betterment’s benefits-driven copy.
And the calculator is a fantastic interactive tool that helps build the case for Betterment. We love tools like this. At the bottom, they have a quiz to help users get into their ecosystem and get started. By getting visitors to complete the quiz, they demonstrate empathy for the user and give them the information they need to provide more personalized information.
Website #3: Metadata
Now for a B2B tool: Metadata. What I love about the Metadata site is how they position themselves.
Remember: about us pages aren’t supposed to be about the company; they’re supposed to be about the customer. And on the “Why Metadata” page, they explain why prospects need AI and how it could make their life easier.
As you scroll, it explains where the science is at today and where it could take users in the future. It’s a compelling story, and by interweaving interesting visuals, users get interested in what else will be revealed on the home page.
I also like their “ABM was supposed to fix B2B” page. It shows that (1) they know ABM didn’t work and (2) providing users with a solution they can trust. It effectively tells the story of the traditional challenges with ABM for B2B marketers and how Metadata overcomes them.
If you create a helpful site for the user, you’ll be lightyears ahead of other companies.
What are top trends you’re seeing for websites this year?
As intimated by the sites I just shared, we love forward-thinking brands that incorporate benefit-driven copy. They are telling an interconnected story through the entire web experience. You need bold imagery with interactivity – you have to catch the eye and the click.
It allows users to become informed about the product and why it’s relevant to them. In a B2B context, they don’t have to have that typical conversation with a rep about what the product does and its features. Instead, prospects can cut straight to the heart of the conversation and talk about their specific use case.
And going back to the Betterment example, another stellar trend is guiding users to the product or products that best suit their needs. Inserting a quiz helps funnel prospects to the right person or information to solve their problems.
Navattic interactive demos help with this, too, giving the experience of using an app ahead of time and sparking curiosity about what else a platform can do.
A recent client made the need for a simple, easy-to-use, product-focused website abundantly clear. They had just acquired a company, which made their current comparison and features page extremely confusing. As a result, their conversion rates weren’t great.
So we created a quiz. We asked what sector the user was in and what challenges they were struggling with. Then, on the backend, we baked in some logic to show users which product or combination of products was right for them. They knew which demo to get and why, and their conversion rate increased by 50%.
What is a trend you’re ready to see end this year for websites?
First, I’d say overly technical copy. That tends not to engage the prospect as much. You want to tell prospects why they’re going to be great using your tool – they don’t have to know the nitty-gritty of how.
As I alluded to earlier, about us pages are an untapped opportunity for you to talk about the user and why your product is best suited to them. It’s not a chance to talk about yourselves.
Generic and convoluted contact pages are another trend I’m glad to see going away. Unfortunately, I still see some B2B websites driving everyone to the same contact page with the same litany of forms irrelevant to their objective or don’t relate to where they came from on the site.
Make them more personalized. You can’t appeal to everyone, or else you’ll make the experience disappointing.
Chatbots are good, but they shouldn’t fire immediately when you hit the website. Popping up as soon as a visitor hits your page makes you seem desperate. Instead, pair them with what the user is clicking on.
Finally, I am so glad to see that the home page hero slider is meeting its demise. It was the perfect example of design by committee gone wrong. You don’t have to get everything into the home page.
What are some of your favorite tools right now for website design or optimization?
Figma helps our designers and developers collaborate and is one of my strongest recommendations.
It allows designers to convey exactly what they want, and then developers can code it to spec perfectly. The best part is that it’s fun to use.
Tell us more about WebMechanix
WebMechanix is a performance marketing agency. Our goal is to unlock our client’s potential and help them drive growth. We help them scale through paid media – search and social – but also through optimal website design.
So if you’re looking for a website or want to take your demand generation to the next level, contact us.
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