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Research Area Employment & Online Needs

Fig 3. Employment Type By Percentage

Chart of Weybridge area employment profile

Background To Profile

There is a symmetry between the employment and business profiles. Differences mainly arise through external labour coming in to fill lower paid posts and a high outbound commuter level.

The area profile is rightly varied but with significant home ownership, including large private estates and an educational level which matches the employment profile.

Online habits fit with this, one of the top UK percentages of broadband use and general computer literacy. We would still note that gaps in web use across the UK have narrowed in recent times, access via a wide range of devices is a national habit.

Websites Meet People

Serving business staff and owners can mean meeting a more specific need than targeting the local population. Even so, a solid proportion of people work for themselves, or in small companies.

Their view is personal, they are looking to spend money that matters and do make an effort to look. Meeting the needs of individuals as well as businesses should influence web design.

We know from ample data that people will bounce off bad websites and stick with excellent sites. Even without a boost in search results, a good redesign can see conversion rates and revisiting rates increase.

Apart from a discerning audience, technical factors come into play. The use of pad computers and smartphones is high, a website must work well on them. As exposure to websites which are up to date increases, they become expected.

We also carried out an experiment with an information page, running this through machine translation and back again. The same information but poor grammatically. People bounced off that page at almost twice the previous rate.

Life And The Web

Whether website owners see typical visitor behaviour as discerning, or impatient is not so relevant. The task of a website is to meet the needs of the people arriving there.

We would also suggest another option, time pressure. A national issue but in the study area more so. Homes with young families are prevalent, as are jobs requiring heavy commitment and travelling.

Whatever the cause, for the sake of business, website owners must react to customer requirements. They first need to understand them, by using available data before building a website and monitoring user behaviour on their website.

Apart from benefits in terms of income, this can also help a business practically. A well built, well targeted website is easier and less stressful to manage, or cheaper to contract out management. Time is spent on positive addition, rather than firefighting.

Benefiting Business

For a business wishing to serve their customers, the task is evident. Build a website which is above average, clear and easy to use, works across devices and accurately informs people.

This is manageable and not as complex as many believe. Neither is budget the main issue, costs need not be high and with sound practice, investment produces a return. To see how the study websites currently meet the need, go to research area websites.

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