• Left Brains.

  • Right Brains.

  • Brand Soul.

Monthly Archives: January 2016


An effective customer-centric website design requires the designer to put himself in the customer's place to build a site that is user-friendly, while providing all the information that the visitor needs.  If you find it hard to put yourself in your customer’s shoes, there are services out there that will critique the usability of your website for you.  Some, like theuserismymom.com and theuserisdrunk.com take it a step further...


This website offers a 64-year-old mother to test websites, saying “You should design with your mother in mind. If she can't understand your site, others will struggle as well.  Your mom loves you too much to give you honest feedback. My mom thinks you're probably a lovely person, but may not like your work. She'll try to use your website and tell you how she really feels.”


This website offers a UX professional that sacrifices his liver for the betterment of the information superhighway.  “I'll get very drunk, and then review your website. I'll send you a document outlining where I thought the website needed help, and a screencast of me going over the website… One of the core tenets of UX is that you've got to design like "the user is drunk." Any feature of your site has to be able to be used by someone who could be drunk - because, invariably, the user will mess it up otherwise. Wonderful idea. The thing is, it is hard to test.  I and a lot of beer will test this for you.”

The point is that your website design should be so simple and intuitive that anyone, including sexagenarians (it's not a bad word, look it up) and drunks, can use it.  If you want to try reviewing your website on your own, here are some tips to keep in mind:

Ease of Use

The design should be clearly organized and easy to navigate.  A website with well-designed navigation should help a visitor find what they need with minimal effort.  Visitors who cannot find what they are looking for will likely to get frustrated and find another website. 

Mobile Friendly?

Make sure you look at your website on a phone.  Is it a mobile-friendly design that is responsive to the size of the screen, or does the viewer have to zoom and pan each page?  A study shows that if a company has a bad mobile website, 39% of visitor will look for another business and 6% of people will refuse to do business with those who have bad mobile websites.  For more about mobile-friendly design, read here and here.

Contact information

Is your contact information always just one click away? Don't make visitors work too hard to reach you.

Spelling Errors

While this might not be enough of a problem to make people lose all faith in your company and leave your website, sloppiness is never a good sign.  There are free tools out there to spell check your website, like typosaurus.

Your website is one of your brand touch points, and for many of your customers, it will be their first interaction with you.  Make sure that your website meets their needs.  If you have questions about your website, please feel free to give us a call at (574) 234-2060.


Lazy and Forgetful is the New Normal

Posted on January 14, 2016 by marty

A recent poll by the Domain Name Association shows that when people are looking to go to a specific company’s website, 43% of them will type the company’s name or relevant term into a search engine while only 31% of people will type the domain name (www.domainname.com) into the browser address bar.

In fact, looking at search analytics data for Force 5’s website, here are some of the search terms that resulted in www.discoverforce5.com showing up in Google’s search engine results.

  • force 5
  • force5
  • i need a new website
  • adwords tips
  • force five media
  • force five
  • importance of keywords
  • sylvan marine
  • south bend marketing
  • skeuomorphism
  • forcefive media

Just as people don’t remember phone numbers anymore because they are all programmed into our cellphones, people are less likely to remember your official web address and will use a search engine to find your website.

This highlights the importance of having the meta information on your pages optimized to show the infomation that you want in the Google search results.

If you need help reviewing your website.  Please feel free to contact us here at Force 5.


One sign that you might need a new website is that it doesn't look good on mobile devices.  According to a recent study, mobile device usage is significantly higher than desktop usage, with people viewing 51% of the content on mobile versus only 42% on desktop/laptop.   (Five years ago, it was 12.5% mobile vs. 75% desktop/laptop). 

Mobile Friendly Not Mobile Friendly

According to a study by Google, having a website that isn’t mobile-friendly can have a big impact on your business.  This study was actually done in 2012, and I would believe that as more websites become responsive, visitors expectations of the mobile experience will also rise.

  • 67% of mobile users say that when they visit a mobile-friendly site, they’re more likely to buy a site’s product or service
  • 52% of users said that a bad mobile experience made them less likely to engage with a company
  • 48% said that if a site didn’t work well on their smartphones, it made them feel like the company didn’t care about their business
  • 48% of users say they feel frustrated and annoyed when they get to a site that’s not mobile-friendly
  • 36% said they felt like they’ve wasted their time by visiting those sites

Don't forget larger screens too.

It’s also important to consider at how your website looks on larger screens.  Just a few years ago, websites were built for much smaller computer and laptop screens, but with the advent of wide-screen, high-resolution monitors, old websites can look small and out of place.

So, it is important that your visitors experience your website as you intended, not matter what type of device or monitor they view it on.

Dole/Kemp website at 800x600 (older monitor), 320x480 (iPhone 4), and 1920x1080 (widescreen).  The website would be unnavigatable on the iPhone, and ends up looking puny on a current-sized monitor.  Obviously, the Dole/Kemp website was created 20 years ago, long before iPhones and widescreen, high-resolution monitors, but there are still many current websites that follow this example.

Force 5 website at 800x600, 320x480, and 1920x1080.  With the responsive design, the site adjusts to whatever screen size the visitor is using.

If you need to update your website, please feel free to contact us at Force 5 or call us at (574) 234-2060.