Web Design For Changing Times

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Website designing considerations during economic and political uncertainty

Just a few years ago, business owners and entrepreneurs put initial thought into their web site design – and then never really gave it a rethink. Sure, there was the odd update to blogs or product/service information. But beyond that, the world hadn’t undergone any immense changes so you never needed to revisit the overall structure and messaging of your website.

But all that is about to change, and if your web designer hasn’t discussed those possibilities with you, it’s time YOU took it up with him/her – ASAP.

Why Worry About Your Website Design Now?

Well, in case you haven’t watched the news lately, there’s a lot of turmoil in the world today. Political. Trade. Military. Social. Some of it will not really have a huge impact on your web designing strategy. However, there are other factors on the go that could have significant impact on how you do business through your website, including:

Upcoming Brexit (be it ‘hard’ or ‘soft’)
Legislative changes on data collection and privacy
Ongoing trade tariff tensions

So why should those events impact what you do with your website?

Well, some of them could leave you less competitive, if you don’t respond to them NOW. Others, like the legislative changes, could put the very existence of your website in doubt if you aren’t already compliant.

That’s the “bad” news. There’s good news too.

These events might be disruptive in nature, but they offer a unique opportunity for you to work with your website designing agency to conduct a full review of your website and come up with ways to enhance and improve it.


Web Designing Opportunities

If you wish to get ahead of the curb and prevent your business from being impacted by some/all of these potential disruptions, then here are some opportunities for you to discuss with your web designing agency:

1) While it might feel as though it’s business as usual, your web designer would probably have been working feverishly behind the scenes over the past few months. Why? To get your website ready for the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) with huge impact to data collection and protection on your website.

If your website isn’t yet GDPR-compliant, this may be the opportunity to review GDPR impacts, and plan for immediate updates in concert with other potential changes that we will speak of below.

2) Does your website do business (either buying or selling) with US-based partners or clients? Well, the ongoing and possibly upcoming trade tariffs could mean that your web design might be out-of-step to deal with trade restrictions that are (or to be) imposed by the EU and the US.

You might need to review terms of sale. There may be price impacts. Even logistics and delivery options might need to change. And you may even need to look at whether selling online through your website into certain US markets still makes sense. It’s important to meet with your web design agency and discuss what parts of your website (Marketing content, Price List, Fulfilment) could potentially be impacted. You then need to put a remedial plan in place.

3) If you have significant trade partners and consumers in Britain, there may be opportunities to review your website designing focus to try and more heavily influence that segment of your market. With the British Pound expected to decline further as Brexit progresses, at least in the short term, your (Irish) goods and services could become more expensive for your British client base.

Ask your web design service what can be done to counter the impact of currency differentials. More sales promotions? Special Brexit-related deals? Diversification?

4) Brexit could potentially trigger some restrictions amongst former trading partners. If you previously sold products or services into the U.K through your website, you could be barred from freely doing so post-Brexit. How will that impact revenue from your website?

You need to rethink your web design so that your product or service offerings are more diversified than they are today. But beyond that, if there are “procedural” changes in the rules for doing business post-Brexit, your web design services provider needs to start addressing them NOW – before it’s too late!


Be Prepared

Looking at some of the points discussed above, one could be tempted to lay back and do nothing in the hope that you’ll act once things become clearer (e.g.: waiting for greater clarity on a post-Brexit scenario, or more facts about an EU-US tariff war). However, while you are in “wait and see mode”, your competitors are already working hard with their web designing services to plan for the future.

Being aware of the potential threats, to your website from these events, doesn’t necessarily mean you should start making structural changes to your website today. However, since you now know what obstacles you MIGHT face in the coming months, you should at least start having conversations with your website designer about how best to address them – IF they do materialise.

Hope for the best, but always be prepared for the worst.