The world has been gripped by the Covid-19 pandemic in a devastating way. Hundreds of health experts warned us on numerous occasions and even Bill Gates stated in 2015 on his program, Ted Talk, how unprepared we are. He went further to say that if anything kills millions of people in the next few decades, it would be because of a highly infectious virus rather than a war.
Even though we are only now clasping the impact and devastation of the Covid-19 pandemic it became clear that social distancing and being under some sort of lockdown became the new norm. This said, the Covid-19 pandemic has increased internet usage by 70% and it is safe to say that the key to success surely lies in innovation. Wherever innovation is needed, it will surely be found in internet applications, and internet applications need web design.
Suddenly the need for innovation by designers and creatives became a channel for improvement opportunities. With families being in lockdown and stuck in their homes they all have a common place to escape too which is nothing other than the internet. Needless to say, that the first area of focus and innovation should be ensuring that your clients website is ready for the increased traffic. The design should focus on the ease of access by subscribers to web pages.
Due to the world being forced to move most of it activity to homes the shift created a wide recognition of the importance of information technology which is now a vital aspect of most people’s lives.
With the sharp spike in online traffic, you should think ahead and find ways to deter potential obstacles. Some of the innovative ways to do this is by deleting videos, boosting HTTP caching, and offloading static assets to content delivery networks.
With the global lockdown and spike in infections and deaths, there has been an increased need for, and scope for, mobilization which has been testing our ability to communicate. The spread of fake news about the pandemic and misinformation has had dire consequences.
Web designers must not only settle for there regular customers during this period but should reach out to businesses, churches, schools etc. All of which have been closed during the lockdown period with physical meetings being replaced by online ones. This is the time to reach out to businesses and to offer ways to maintain and improve their current operating systems.
Schools and churches might have to increase their online presence to be able to reach students and congregations. This is an opportunity to reach out and offer online communication mechanisms or online streaming to reach their audience. One such platform is Zoom which indicated a 300% increase in traffic.
European statistics indicate an increase of 57% on online purchases, an 26% increase in online classes and 24% on online tours. With travel restrictions and social distancing being enforced across the world, global tourism has almost come to a standstill. Airlines, cruise lines and many tourist attractions are on the verge of bankruptcy while hotels, restaurants and museums have locked their doors for the time being. This is where the need for innovation came to play.
With travelers now confined to their respective homes, demand for indoor activities and exploration is on the rise. Several cultural organizations have therefore come up with online tours of their properties and experiences, so that the quest for discovery remains unhindered, shifting only from the physical to the virtual. By including virtual tours in websites businesses like museums, national parks etc. can remain open for hundreds if not thousands of virtual tourists. People can visit places across the world from the comfort of their homes while the business owner can still generate an income from site visitors.
Another area of web design that increased to quite an extent is the demand for eCommerce Sites. With stores that remained closed and the continuous need by consumers for supplies and essentials, businesses had to turn to selling their goods online.
When designing the eCommerce site, it would be wise to expand a company's delivery coverage or online payment system to ensure that the company can keep on earning and maintaining the loyalty of consumers during the Covid-19 pandemic. It is important to remember the small business enterprises during this time as well and keep in consideration their capital budget when designing their sites. Make sure prices for eCommerce sites is in line with their cash flows. Companies, like pet shops, supermarkets, florists etc. are small business enterprises that might have to close their doors permanently due to bankruptcy.
It is also important to keep in mind that businesses now want to include eCommerce sites in their business strategy, and it would therefore be smart to build an online presence by providing customers with informative websites while incorporating involved user experience.
Many business owners who already have websites who had extra time during the lockdown are rethinking their current designs, content, or functionality of their websites and either want to redesign or have a new website created. It is valuable to keep in mind that it is always best to communicate the design needs and functionality directly with your client on platforms such as Zoom, Skype etc.
Taking the above-mentioned into consideration, it must be said that design thinking is different to any other form of problem solving methods because it is a non-linear process that is concentrated on delivering positive outcomes, rather than focusing on a specific problem definition.
With the definition of a desirable and successful user experience changing overnight, web design will stay in increasingly high demand to satisfy the need of this new world.
During the Covid-19 crises, digital transformation is crucial, but it might never look the same again as before the pandemic.
The progression of things and the scope of demand in web development and online services will be decided by careful analysis of user behavior.